English Scones Recipe

English Scones
These traditional English scones are slightly sweet, soft and fluffy and perfect for almost any occasion.

English Scones

This English scones recipe is as traditional as it gets.

Totally fluffy, puffy and soft, this the best recipe for English scones that I’ve come across. 

I’ve been baking them a long time . I’ve used them for strawberry shortcake without the currants and decreased the sugar and used them for biscuits.

English Scones Recipe

But….What is a scone?

Though there are many different varieties of scone, this English scone recipe has baking powder and eggs. It is baked on a baking sheet and often is glazed with an egg wash and topped with a sprinkle of sugar.

This is the kind of scone that is traditionally served at  British tea, either with butter, clotted cream or jam. Or all three!

A scone is just a scone; unless it is a bannock; in which case it is generally round and flat and often baked on a griddle. Though often the two words are used interchangeably.

English Scones Recipe

But…a scone vs. a biscuit?

A biscuit has no egg and just a touch of sugar. Alas. But a biscuit is still a cousin of the  scone or bannock. Just think of the scone as the biscuit’s richer cousin!

The only biscuit I grew up on was a Bisquick biscuit, or the Pillsbury poppin’ fresh variety.

Yes, this Jewish girl grew up on Bisquick. Bisquick biscuits. Bisquick pancakes. And Bisquick shortcakes.

And if anyone knew about scones when I was growing up, there probably would have been Bisquick scones.

Really there is nothing wrong with Bisquick. But Bisquick was never part of my quest in the search for the perfect biscuit or scone.

English Scones Recipe

I’ve always like the Starbucks maple nut scone. But it never compared to the truly British scone (which is really Scottish), that I ate while having tea with my two gorgeous children, after a long day sightseeing in London.

I remember my daughter decided she needed to see Wimbledon, but Manservant, Alex and I traipsed through the Victoria and Albert Museum and then met daughter back at Harrods (you don’t think she’d miss shopping), before ditching Manservant, while the three of us went for tea at the Capital Hotel, just down the street.

I can’t quite figure out what makes tea so expensive, but after having a busy day, there is nothing quite so civilized as taking it down a notch, and being served tea and scones in a lovely dining room. It is definitely something I could get used to.

British Tea Room

And so we had scones. Perfect, beautiful, currant filled scones. With jam. And clotted cream.

And that lovely embroidered fabric wall covering was right behind us. It was gorgeous. In fact, I think we even sat at that table. All while feeling damp and tired and exhausted-after all this was London in December. Not the best time to visit.

But I’d go anytime to London. Even if I don’t get to meet the Queen. Actually, I was way too busy to meet her!

English Scones

And when I returned I didn’t forget my favorite bite from across the ocean. So I baked this English scones recipe to take to our friend’s mountain cabin, along with a bag of almost crack granola. I’m not sure which was the bigger hit.

But I do have to tell you. These scones  were just like I remembered. Just what I’ve been searching for; for FOUR years.

I have a really weird food memory bank, don’t I?  Full of flavor. Tender. Cakey. Perfect to slather butter and jam on.

They were great warmed up at 300 degrees in a foil pouch  for about 10-15 minutes. My friends loved them.

As we looked out to Grand Lake and saw the birds and the deer and ate our scones, it occurred to me I may not have been in London, but I may as well have been eating the same scone. At least this is how I remember them.

English Scones

And I’ll have you know I made the best plum jam. Same way I made the raspberry jam. I took the weight of the plums and added the same weight of sugar.

It takes plums a bit longer than raspberries to reach the setting point. And now that my plum tree has met its demise, I’m sure glad I finally figured out how to make plum jam! I then added a touch of allspice and OMG. It was so good.

All this because I saw a boy on the canal picking plums from a tree. So I reached into my back pocket, pulled out my extra bag for scooping poop, and he helped me fill it up. Best jam EVER! To eat with the BEST scone recipe ever.

Bake some tonight. Take a load off. Make some tea. And have an English scone. So civilized, isn’t it?

A Few More!

Pumpkin Scones and Bourbon Glaze

Pumpkin scones recipe with bourbon glaze

Chocolate Cherry Scones

Scones with dried cherries, cranberries and chocolate

Maple Nut Scones

Maple Scones with Maple Glaze

I’d Love it if you Follow Me on Pinterest and Pin and Share!

This is an updated post from 2014.
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English Scones

Easy English Scones

  • Author: Abbe Odenwalder
  • Prep Time: 15 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 Minutes
  • Total Time: 30 Minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: British

Description

These soft and cakey scones are the traditional English version that are often served with tea. They are so, so, good!


Ingredients

Scale

3 c flour

1/3 c sugar

2 t baking powder

1/2 t salt

1 stick butter, cut into cubes

3/4 c currants

1 c milk

2 eggs


Instructions

Place oven rack in upper level position, but not at the highest level. Preheat to 500 degrees.

Pulse flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in food processor, until combined or for about 5 pulses.

Add cubed butter and pulse until fully incorporated and mixture is fine with no big clumps or pieces of butter. Transfer to a large bowl.

Whisk milk and eggs together in a small bowl. Set aside 2 T to brush on top of scones before baking.

Add remaining milk mixture to flour mixture and using a spatula, fold ingredients together until flour is moist and incorporated. Transfer dough to a floured surface and shape into a large ball.

With floured hands, knead until surface is smooth and free of cracks. Press gently to form a disk about 9 inches around and about 1 inch thick.

Using a floured round cookie cutter, cut out rounds without twisting them, and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Gather scraps and repeat until all dough is used. Brush tops of scones with reserved egg mixture and sprinkle lightly with additional sugar

Place in oven and immediately reduce temperature of oven to 425. Bake until scones have risen and are lightly browned, about 10-12 minutes.

Serve warm or at room temperature with more butter, or clotted cream and jam.


Notes

Thanks Cooks Illustrated!

Keywords: english scones recipe, biscuit vs. scone, best scones recipes, what is a scone

More Food to Eat while Drinking Tea:
Pumpkin Brown Sugar Muffins
Egg Salad
Black Pepper Strawberry Jam
Lemon Rose Madeleines
Chocolate Krantz Cake or Babka

 

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  • Holly
    March 16, 2021 at 2:56 pm

    I love English scones, especially with currents. Your scones looks perfect, The color, the texture and the rise. I am bookmarking this page. I can’t wait to try.

    • Abbe
      March 18, 2021 at 7:52 pm

      Thanks Holly. We do love these! Let me know what you think!

  • Michelle | Sift & Simmer
    March 16, 2021 at 10:58 am

    [* Shield Security plugin marked this comment as “SPAM”. Reason: Failed Bot Test (expired) *]
    Yum, these scones look so light and flaky! It was during my trip to London where I discovered REAL clotted cream… and now I can’t have scones without it!

  • Marcelle
    March 15, 2021 at 9:02 pm

    Abbe, these scones look amazing! The UK, especially London, is on my bucket list of places to see. But, until we can get there I’m glad to have your recipe 🙂 Can’t wait to try these.

    • Abbe
      March 16, 2021 at 12:42 pm

      Make a cup of tea and pretend! In that new kitchen!

    • Abbe
      March 18, 2021 at 7:53 pm

      I do hope you get there fast! We have been lucky to go several times and it still is never enough!

  • sherry
    March 15, 2021 at 2:41 am

    as you know, a biscuit is a totally different entity to a scone to those of british heritage:) but these look so delightful; a real british scone, fluffy and light. always a winner.

  • Healthy World Cuisine
    March 14, 2021 at 11:58 am

    Love how these puffed up and look super delicious. Perfect for an afternoon high high.

    • Abbe
      March 18, 2021 at 7:54 pm

      Perfect and if you can find clotted cream, so much the better!

  • Easyfoodsmith
    March 11, 2021 at 7:25 am

    The scones look beautiful and you made me crave them.

    • Abbe
      March 18, 2021 at 7:54 pm

      Now that’s the idea!

  • John / Kitchen Riffs
    March 10, 2021 at 4:21 pm

    Yum. Love scones, and these look fantastic. One of these days we can travel again at get scones at their source. Until then, though, we’ll have to make our own. 🙂

    • Abbe
      March 18, 2021 at 7:55 pm

      Well, these are so worth it. But always worth it in a gorgeous tea room!

  • Winnie
    September 14, 2014 at 7:38 pm

    I don't care how you call these, they simply look fantastic !!
    With butter ad raspberry jam – I could eat the all 🙂

  • SavoringTime in the Kitchen
    September 11, 2014 at 5:46 pm

    You sure brought a smile to my face 🙂 But seriously, your scones look beautiful and if you say they're just like you remembered, I know I have to try these. These would be perfect to nibble on while watching the next episode of Outlander!

  • Anna and Liz Recipes
    September 9, 2014 at 6:38 pm

    YUM these scones sound so delicious and just love the added raspberry jam in them too!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      September 9, 2014 at 8:04 pm

      They were delicious and will continue to be! Thanks!

  • Sue/the view from great island
    September 8, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    I'm on a lifelong quest for the perfect scone, too! My husband and I spent a year in Wimbledon Commons, and learned to love them. These look pretty darned near perfect!!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      September 9, 2014 at 8:04 pm

      Thanks so much, Sue! I'm surprised you didn't get a recipe then, but I do believe the Brits take them for granted! They should be grateful for them!

  • Laura Dembowski
    September 8, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    What a beautiful dessert tray! It's great you were able to recreate part at home.

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      September 9, 2014 at 8:03 pm

      It was Laura. It was! And it wasn't all dessert. They put little sandwiches such as egg salad on their, too! What fun! I hope you do it one day!

  • Carol at Wild Goose Tea
    September 8, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    You KNOW I was devouring your site about scones. There is NO doubt that I am going to make this recipe. I understand completely your quest for the perfect scone. I had a version of a scone in New Zealand that was superb. When I was in London, I wasn't tuned into teas and scones at that time. My next scone hunt will be in Victoria BC. I've had high tea there at Buchart Gardens, but their scones did not bowl me over. Where I am located in Washington state, its an hour away to a ferry. Then an hour ferry ride. Bam you get off the boat in downtown Victoria. It was on Vancouver Island that I got hooked up teapots. I related that tongue in check in About Us on my site.

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      September 9, 2014 at 8:02 pm

      Try these Carol and let me know what you think. They are my favorite! Wish I was going to Buchart Gardens, though!

  • Biz
    September 8, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    I love scones, however you call them. Starbuck's cinnamon chip scones got me hooked many years ago. I love making them, but my husband won't even try one – I keep telling him they are not dry, but no go. That's okay – more for me!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      September 9, 2014 at 8:00 pm

      I have never tried those! But try these. Tony may even like them!

  • Sugar et al
    September 8, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    Such lovely scones! I've been to London but after reading this wish I tried out the scones there.

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      September 9, 2014 at 8:00 pm

      Next time Sugar! Or make them now!

  • shannon @ a periodic table
    September 8, 2014 at 11:38 am

    Really want to try these, Abbe: i'm eternally on the quest for a fabulous scone recipe (and have yet to find one) for myself, but i have determined that it should – in theory – include an ingredients list similar to this. Why is it the simplest things are the hardest to get right?
    Having tea in london after a busy day sounds incredible. I've always thought it sounded like such an elegant ritual to have.

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      September 9, 2014 at 7:59 pm

      I believe you will like these, Shannon! They really were what I had in mind when it came to scones. Simple things are the hardest to find because there are so few ingredients!

  • Maureen | Orgasmic Chef
    September 8, 2014 at 9:43 am

    I love scones with jam and cream. It's the best afternoon treat with a cup of tea. Nothing fancy like a high tea but I still feel special.

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      September 9, 2014 at 7:58 pm

      Most definitely special, just to take the time out of your day and relax. Tea does that for me! It should be a resolution!

  • Thalia @ butter and brioche
    September 8, 2014 at 8:41 am

    I am a massive scone, cream and jam fan.. in fact I am craving some right now! I definitely will be trying your bannocks recipe, they look delicious.

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      September 9, 2014 at 3:49 am

      I hope you love them Thalia! They really are like what I had in London!

  • Marcela
    September 8, 2014 at 7:48 am

    Oh! This is so delicious! I've just realized that I'm veeery hungry! Great job!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      September 9, 2014 at 3:48 am

      Thanks Marcela! Go bake some now! And thanks for visiting!

  • chefmimiblog.com
    September 7, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    These look so good. I'm glad that when my daughter lived in London we enjoyed high tea. It's an experience. My girlfriend just told me about Outlander. I wasn't aware of the books or show!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      September 9, 2014 at 3:48 am

      So fun, isn't it? Check out the books and show! I totally love them!

  • Angie Schneider
    September 7, 2014 at 7:32 am

    I have always thought biscuit is the American version of British scone. These scones look so buttery and good!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      September 9, 2014 at 3:46 am

      It kind of is. And it kind of isn't. I adore both! Thanks, Angie!

  • Liz Berg
    September 7, 2014 at 12:54 am

    Oh, Abbe, you make me giggle. And surely these are fabulous scones or biscuits or bannocks! I'm going to have to whip some up for my girlfriends…wish I had some of your homemade jam to smear on them, but the bazillion jars of jellies and such in my pantry will just have to do.

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      September 9, 2014 at 3:43 am

      Glad I make someone giggle, Liz! Your girlfriends will love them. I promise!

  • Holly @ abakershouse.com
    September 7, 2014 at 12:53 am

    How did I make it to London and back this summer without a single bite of scones? or clotted cream? Or high tea? Well…having two boys who eat next to nothing is no fun at all! You did mention the golf and my son really wanted to go to watch. I waited too long to look into tickets and they are sold out for tomorrow! Hope your husband enjoyed the day there today.

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      September 9, 2014 at 3:40 am

      I have no idea, Holly! They even serve tea at the museums with scones! I guess you will just have to go back! Yes, he really did enjoy the tournament. Hopefully, they will do it again!

  • yummychunklet
    September 7, 2014 at 12:51 am

    Perfect for tea!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      September 9, 2014 at 3:42 am

      They are! They were! And they will be! Thanks Yummy!

  • Ansh
    September 7, 2014 at 12:40 am

    We could do a Outlander watching gathering with scones. I will bring tea.

  • Karen Harris
    September 6, 2014 at 11:48 pm

    Now you're talking! I love a good cream tea. In fact, I love it so much that the first thing I do when I get to England, after I take a shower and a nap, is head to the store to buy some little scarlet jam, some plain scones and a big tub of clotted cream. HEAVEN! These scones look wonderful. We'll have to do tea sometime soon.

  • Cheri Savory Spoon
    September 6, 2014 at 11:18 pm

    Hi Abbe, what a wonderful recipe for scones, I've always wanted to visit England, sounds like tea is a pretty serious time of the day there.

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      September 9, 2014 at 3:30 am

      Very serious. Very fun. And totally relaxing!